Life is not a bed of roses. Sometimes, the difficulties of life succeed in catching up with us. Majority of us go about our daily activities, living with stress, anxiety, sadness and fear of the unknown. These can all impact your mental health.
It is important to learn how to control your feelings and emotions when dealing with life’s challenges; for it is essential in maintaining your general well-being.
Monitoring your mental health can sometimes mean getting help from a mental health specialist; but it can as well mean taking the required daily steps to improve your mental and emotional health.
We compiled a list of effective ways to improve your mental health:
1. Begin Your Day with A Positive Attitude.
It is great to have a morning routine, but ensure you begin your day with a positive attitude. Start your day feeling grateful. Learn to show gratitude, whether it is to God, to yourself, or anyone else in your life. Practicing gratitude can improve your mental and emotional health.
When you wake up early in the morning, make some time to be grateful for life and learn to appreciate the people you love that are in good health. Do not let social media be your first thought of the day. Keep a diary of the people and things you are grateful for. Reflecting on the journal will fill you will happiness.
Furthermore, practice positive daily affirmations. Positive affirmations are known to have a powerful effect on your mood and can help improve your self-worth.
2. Live in The Present.
Do not dwell on the past. Some of us still hold onto the past. Sometimes we find ourselves asking questions like: what if it had happened differently? Why did it happen to me?
Do not be a victim of the past. Worrying is a complete waste of your time. It distracts your mind from enjoying your life and fulfilling all your responsibilities. As a matter of fact, study reveals that “a mind which constantly wanders is an unhappy mind.” Instead of concentrating on the past, focus on the present. Live in the present.
3. Exercise Regularly to Stay Fit.
Regular exercise is essential in maintaining a healthy weight, but also helps improve the function of your heart and brain. Exercise helps improve the brain cognitive function, which in turn improves your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Undergoing some sort of physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which alleviates stress. Exercise also stimulates the release of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine — which helps to control your mood. For example, the serotonin you get from exercise can help boost your perception of well-being. Furthermore, regular exercise helps stabilize the adrenaline levels in your body, which eases stress.
Do exercises to help you stay fit 24/7, even if it is just for 15 minutes a day. It can help you handle stress and can as well improve your mental health.
4. Practice Healthy Eating.
The brain is one of the most active organs in the human body. The brain requires sufficient energy to perform at its best.
The foods we eat have a big effect on our health. It is advisable to eat healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help improve your mood and improve your brain’s cognitive function. A healthy diet contains plenty vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
5. Socialize More Often.
The quality of our social relationships with friends and loved ones impacts our mental health. Socializing can mean confiding in someone about an issue or problem. It can as well mean simply being kind to other people. Trusting others, and others trusting you in return, can improve your emotional health and develop your self-worth. Learn to be kind to other people, whether you are acquainted or not, for it increases your happiness and builds your self-esteem.
Furthermore, socializing with people is a great way to discover new things, talk about happy times in the past or simply just laughing and creating new memories. Socializing with friends can help you find the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you are going through a difficult time.
6. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself.
Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment. The feeling when you are working hard towards losing weight, or saving money for an investment, or you just received that promotion you have been working hard for, can improve your mental health. Accomplishing a goal can help improve your self-esteem and self-worth.
However, it is important to set realistic goals for yourself. Your goals should be a bit challenging, but also within your capabilities. Furthermore, ensure you dedicate sufficient time and effort to achieve the goals you set out for yourself. If you plan on embarking on an adventure, but not quite sure if it is a realistic one, try considering it as a hobby first to see how it works out.
7. Get Adequate Sleep at Night.
Getting adequate sleep at night improves your concentration during the day. Lack of sleep, as well as low-quality sleep, can greatly impact your behavior the following day. Sleep deprivation increases fatigue, irritability, mood change, reduced sex drive and makes it difficult to concentrate and remember important things.
It is very essential to get adequate sleep at night. It is also very important to avoid doing things at night that will make it hard to fall asleep, like operating your phone etc.
8. Do Not Feel Embarrassed to Seek Help.
Opening up to someone and letting them know that you are going through a difficult time may seem hard to do, but you should know that there is no shame seeking for help.
Whenever you feel like stress, anxiety, sadness, fear of the unknown or negative feelings are eating you up, try opening up to a friend or family member. Disclosing to someone about your worries and anxieties can give you a better understand of the problem, and help reduce the burden you carry.
Confiding in someone can also strengthen the bond between yourself and the other person, particularly if they are going through the same problem. Seeking help when you need it can help improve your mental health.